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May 21, 2017 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:56 PM :: 1714 Views

GEMS: A Raid by Any Other Name…

OHA to Vote on Audit Wednesday

DOE: New Superintendent Picked for her Opposition to Charter Schools

AZ: In December, she expressed frustration over a charter school being built on land that neighboring Higley Unified School District was dissuaded by the town from building on.

“We have the highest number of, and a growing number of, charter schools in our community, yet we have seats available in our (district) schools. There’s no unmet demand,'' she told the Town Council at the Dec. 1, 2016, hearing.

“We are excited to have someone with a track record of reducing achievement gaps and a commitment to school empowerment to lead our public school system.”

Kishimoto said about 35 charter schools are currently operating in Gilbert, and urged the Town Council to think about its impact on district schools.

"I ask that you seriously consider the significant negative impact to GPS and Higley public schools if another charter school is approved in our district,'' she said.

The Hawaii Board of Education said that passion for student success is part of the reason why Kishimoto was hired….

KITV: Matayoshi Scores Tahiti Junket

read … Against Charter Schools

Shapiro: Millennial Legislators Feel ‘Entitled’

Shapiro: …Souki once told colleagues that holding public office is a privilege, and “the price for this privilege is the responsibility each of us has to conduct ourselves with compassion and dignity. Every day, as you walk down these halls and on this floor, remember the hopes and dreams of the people of this state — and do your best for them.”

Words for younger legislators to remember at a time when too many of them view their privilege as an entitlement rather than a debt….

read … Souki’s House career lasted 35 years for good reason

Lone legislator snuffs foster care settlement

SA: After years of legal wrangling, the state and advocates for foster parents thought they had a deal to help cover the cost of caring for foster children — but one state lawmaker torpedoed the settlement.

The U.S. District Court had given preliminary approval and letters had been sent to 6,000 families about the proposed lawsuit settlement, which would raise the rates that foster parents are paid to care for abused and neglected children.

Such legal settlements are subject to funding by the Legislature, but they are seldom nixed so late in the game. Now the issue is likely headed back to court and could cost the state far more, according to attorneys who sued the state, claiming it was violating federal law by not covering the cost of foster care….

“We were definitely surprised,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Claire Wong Black, especially since the settlement “was negotiated with the assistance of the court and had the approval not only of the Department of Human Services and the Attorney General’s Office but also the governor.”

House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke’s decision to cut the funds was made without public input, but she explained her reasoning in a recent interview after the legislative session ended. She said she objected to paying $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees and she wasn’t sure the state could afford the higher rates. She also resented the court system meddling in what she sees as a legislative prerogative.

“The concern that I had is this was really about paying lawyers as about trying to fund programs,” Luke said. “If we are providing funds for programs, should one program take precedence over the other just because we have a lawsuit?” 

(Apparently Luke has never heard of ‘Checks and Balances’)

read … Lone legislator snuffs foster care settlement

Counties Won’t Legalize TVRs—So Legislature Refuses to Protect County Beach Lifeguards

KGI: …Act 170, which protects lifeguards at every beach from lawsuits if something goes wrong while they are performing their duties, is scheduled to sunset on June 30.

During the 2017 legislative session, Senate Bill 562, which aimed at repealing the sunset rule, was introduced at the request of the Hawaii State Association of Counties.

When it was put on the floor, SB 562 sought to make protections for county lifeguards permanent. But as it went through the legislative process, the provision to repeal the sunset portion of the bill was removed.

The bill now only protects lifeguards who work at state beaches….

read … More Retaliation Against Counties

Caldwell’s Honolulu Zoo promises go unfulfilled

SA: A year after the Honolulu Zoo suffered an embarrassing loss of accreditation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, three zoo exhibits are shuttered and the facility lacks a permanent director….

The zoo was eligible to reapply for accreditation March 1, but Kubota anticipates that it won’t reapply until the fall of 2019….

read … Honolulu Zoo promises go unfulfilled



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